In a significant development, the United Auto Workers (UAW) union has made a groundbreaking announcement on Wednesday, revealing that they have reached a tentative contract agreement with Ford Motor Company. This pivotal achievement signals a potential end to the nearly six-week-long strikes against Detroit automakers. The proposed four and a half-year contract, pending approval by Ford’s 57,000 union members, holds the promise of concluding the series of UAW strikes that have impacted Ford, General Motors (GM), and Stellantis.
UAW President Shawn Fain underscored the importance of this agreement by stating, “For months, we’ve emphasized that record profits should lead to record contracts. And UAW family, our determined strike has delivered.” Fain emphasized how what began at three plants on September 15th has grown into a nationwide movement.
UAW leaders have urged members on strike at Ford facilities to return to work as the tentative agreement undergoes review and voting. UAW Vice President Chuck Browning explained the strategic rationale, saying, “We’re resuming work at Ford to maintain pressure on Stellantis and GM. They certainly wouldn’t want Ford to regain full capacity while they lag behind.”
While no further agreements have been officially announced, the Ford deal could potentially serve as a model for future agreements between the UAW and Stellantis.
Under the terms of the agreement, wages are expected to increase by 25% (or 33% when factoring in cost-of-living adjustments), resulting in an estimated hourly wage of $40. Additionally, new employees would see a substantial 68% wage increase, while temporary workers’ wages are set to rise by an impressive 150% over the contract’s duration.
Once ratified, members will receive an immediate 11% raise, and the cumulative wage increases over “four and a half years” will surpass the combined increases of the past 22 years for union members.
Specific details of the agreement remain undisclosed at this time, pending review and voting by the UAW national council for Ford before being presented for a comprehensive vote by the company’s 57,000 members. Additional information will be communicated to members through a Facebook Live video.
Ford CEO and President Jim Farley expressed contentment with the tentative agreement, highlighting the company’s pride in employing the most hourly autoworkers and assembling the most vehicles in America. Farley stated, “We are pleased to have reached a tentative agreement on a new labor contract with the UAW covering our U.S. operations.”
Sources close to the negotiations have indicated that the union put forward a counter-offer to Ford, suggesting a 25% general wage increase over the four-year contract. Previously, Ford, Stellantis, and GM had all proposed 23% pay increases.
This progress in negotiations follows the union’s decision to strike at three factories producing highly profitable pickup trucks and SUVs, further intensifying the pressure on the companies. With approximately 46,000 workers participating in these targeted strikes, representing 32% of the union’s 146,000 members, the stakes are high for all parties involved.
As the UAW and Ford pave the way for a new contract, attention now shifts to Stellantis and GM. Union members are eagerly anticipating similar progress in negotiations, hoping for a resolution that benefits all parties involved.